Buckeye Glass in China

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Case Study: Buckeye Glass Company in China

The differences between Chinese Culture and American Culture are immense. Both cultures have very different values and norms, and these differences come out within the negotiation between Buckeye Glass Company and the Xia Xian Glass Factory. Both parties during this negotiation had different objectives and ways to get what they wanted out of the proposed joint venture.

The Chinese negotiation style is based on building relationships with people in the negotiation rather then to hammer out details of an agreement. They feel the beginning stages of the negotiation is the time establish a human relationship and to create the bonding of friendship with the goal to become “old friends” by the time the deal has been made. The Chinese want to build this personal relationship, and view the contract as a starting point to a long term business relationship, rather then the end. This is the reason behind the sightseeing and chatting that takes place during the beginning of a negotiation, rather then how the Americans would like to work on the details of the arrangement. The sightseeing and special features of the region frustrated Mr. Brickley as he wanted to discuss the proposed joint venture, rather then building a personal relationship with Tien Chao. A way the Americans can use this to their advantage is to realize that the Chinese don’t view time as a constraint like the American’s do, and to enjoy the sightseeing and informal chatting as a way to become personal friends with the Chinese, and this will help them with terms later in the negotiation.

The reason that Chinese people place so much importance on relationship and less security on written words as their basis of trust may be found partly in their attitude to litigation. Chinese people have a strong aversion to litigation, for it results in face losing and a threat to social harmony. Litigation, which is viewed as the pursuit of personal interests at the...
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